A common question that I get from clients is whether or not they are crazy for wanting marble countertops in their kitchen. The answer is yes... and no. It's not so straightforward when it comes to this stone.
There is no doubt that marble reigns supreme with the high-end elegance it exudes. Despite marble being very trendy right now, the material (especially white marbles) will never go out of style. Marble brightens up any space and easily lends itself to traditional, rustic or contemporary kitchens. It even helps you out when you put your pastry chef's hat on. Marble has a naturally cool temperature which makes it easier to roll out dough without using a ton of flour to prevent sticking. Best of all, marble is priced a bit lower than other natural stones on the market right now since it is commonly found at any of your local distributors.
Aside from the definite aesthetic pros, marble is not the perfect kitchen material. Marble is much more fragile than granite or an engineered stone since it is a softer material that is more porous. This makes it easy for the stone to stain or have etching (scratches). Stones are basically just hard sponges, so any liquid sitting on the surface will seep into the stone, staining the marble. This can be easily prevented through proper, regular sealing, using coasters and wiping any spills up quickly. There are even treatments that allow you to bleach out any staining after the fact. Etching, on the other hand, is permanent. Etching happens when any acidic material sits on the surface (like lemon/limes, wine and tomato sauce) and eats away at it causing dull spots. It is an actual changing of the stone itself, like a scratch. It's not really a discoloration; it's a dulling. Check out the image to the right to see what an etched marble surface looks like.
There are some things that you can do to help protect the pureness of your marble countertops - regular sealing, wiping off the surface after you cook anything, using coasters and choosing a honed marble over a polished marble (polished will show any etching more obviously).
Are marble countertops right for you? I only suggest marble countertops for clients that are prepared to be diligent about keeping the marble clean and dry. The client also has to be able to shrug off any imperfections that happen over the years, as it's impossible to not have some etching after 1 year - 5 years - 10 years. Some people would walk into their kitchen and immediately be haunted by the etching, while other can look past it and just know that any company that comes over will never notice the small things.
Feel free to reach out it you want to know more about using marble in your own kitchen.